CURWENSVILLE — Way, way too many misses on layups and free throws doomed the Curwensville Area High School boys basketball team to a fourth consecutive defeat in Patton Hall Friday night.
“Two easiest shots in basketball, and we didn’t make either one,” Golden Tide coach Shane Pentz lamented after watching Kane escape with a 57-55 victory in an overtime thriller.
Failure to convert right under the basket resulted in a 29-percent field goal performance by the Golden Tide, who were unable to crack 50 percent at the charity stripe, sinking only 16 of 34 attempts.
“If you can’t make the easy ones, you’re gonna have a hard time scoring and, for whatever reason, we couldn’t make a shot in the paint,” Pentz said.
The Wolves, on the other hand, did a lot of damage inside, to shoot a much more respectable 39 percent. Sophomore Andrew Bucheit especially was troublesome in the post with a big double-double, 16 points and 18 rebounds.
“When we didn’t move our feet and get in front of him, he definitely hurt us,” Pentz said. “He was able to catch the ball and make a move.”
Complementing Bucheit from the outside were Jack Kocjancic and Andy Bundy. They knocked down a half dozen three-pointers to finish with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Jake Terry and Quamone Newkirk scored 12 points apiece to top the Golden Tide, who did not have leading scorer and rebounder Trey Rauckhorst, sidelined with an injury.
Both teams endured dry spells in the first half of the Allegheny Mountain League crossover game.
A five-minute drought in the first quarter had Curwensville playing catch-up throughout as Kane took advantage to forge a 13-4 lead.
“The same thing happened against Moshannon Valley,” Pentz said in comparing the slow start to the season-opening setback. “We dug ourselves a hole, and it’s an uphill climb the rest of the game.”
The Golden Tide did come all the way back in the second period when the Wolves went 5:18 without a point after Tyler Rolick nailed a three-pointer for a 16-6 lead.
During that stretch, the hosts were able to get shots to fall in close. Harrison Bloom cashed a drive that was sandwiched by pairs of free throws from R.J. Olson and Terry. Johnathan Miller muscled in back-to-back peeps. And Olson, making his first start in Rauckhorst’s absence, scored off a Terry feed to put Curwensville ahead 18-16.
The lead was short-lived as Bundy punctuated a fast break for the equalizer and followed up with a trey from the right wing that had Kane on top 21-19 at intermission.
Olson’s foul shot and Alex Hill’s putback gave the Golden Tide their only other lead, 22-21, at the outset of the second half and the score was tied at 24 and 26 before the Wolves made the them pay for three turnovers with ensuing baskets for seven points.
“We took two leads, and they only lasted one possession,” Pentz said. “We’d get close, but we just couldn’t quite get over the hump.”
Curwensville trailed 37-31 going to the final quarter but kept scrapping and managed to keep it a one-possession game the last three minutes, closing to within a point on three occasions.
After getting some help when the Wolves missed three of four foul shots in the final 35 seconds, the Golden Tide gained new life on a clutch play by Newkirk, who skied for a rebound and drove the length of the floor for his eighth and ninth points of the quarter with just 3.4 seconds remaining.
“Quamone continues to give us a lift off the bench,” Pentz said. “He’s really quick and he’s able to get to the basket. We’ve been happy with the progress he’s made so far.”
Kocjancic spurred the Wolves in the extra period with three-pointers around a drive by Terry.
“You just can’t lose sight of the other team’s best player when you need a defensive stop,” Pentz said.
Curwensville still kept the pressure one and drew within two points two times in the final 2:24.
Noah Strickland drove the baseline for a runner that made it 55-53 with 16.4 seconds left, and the Golden Tide quickly fouled Tyler Rolick. He banked in the first try and swished the second, which proved to be the deciding points when Newkirk scored with four-tenths of a second on the clock.
The Golden Tide won the battle under the boards 41-35 with Miller and Olson snaring eight misses apiece.
“We did a better job rebounding as a team, but that’s really been an emphasis the last couple days in practice,” Pentz aid. “Unfortunately, now we have a new point of emphasis, and that’s free throws and layups.”
The Golden Tide junior varsity romped to a 50-27 win with Zach Marshall and Alex Opaliski scoring 11 points apiece and Newkirk adding 10.
Curwensville (2-5) is off until Jan. 2 when it makes the short trip over the mountain for an AML South Division game against DuBois Central Catholic.
KANE — 57
Jack Kocjancic 5 0-0 14, Tyler Rolick 3 2-2 9, Andy Bundy 3 3-5 11, John English 1 1-2 3, Andrew Bucheit 7 2-6 16, Davis Gardner 1 0-0 2, Tyler Weidenhoff 0 0-2 0, Connor Hemdal 1 0-1 2. TOTALS: 21 8-18 57.
CURWENSVILLE — 55
Noah Strickland 1 4-4 6, Jake Terry 4 4-5 12, Johnathan Miller 3 1-7 7, Alex Hill 2 1-4 5, R.J. Olson 3 3-4 9, Harrison Bloom 1 2-4 4, Quamone Newkirk 5 1-6 12, Zach Marshall 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 16-34 55.
Three-Point Field Goals – Kane 7 (Kocjancic 4, Rolick 1, Bundy 2); Curwensville 1 (Newkirk 1).
Score by Quarters
Kane 13 8 16 9 11 – 57
Curwensville 6 14 12 15 9 – 55
Officials – Lee Martell, Kenny Knepp and Dave Gardner.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|12/05||@ Mo Valley||41 – 51||0 – 1|
|12/08||@ Brockway||53 – 51||1 – 1|
|12/10||HARMONY||52 – 43||2 – 1|
|12/12||RIDGWAY||33 – 38||2 – 2|
|12/15||CLEARFIELD||40 – 71||2 – 3|
|12/16||WEST BRANCH||61 – 81||2 – 4|
|12/19||KANE||55-57 ot||2 – 5|
|01/02||@ DuBois Central Catholic|
|01/14||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC|
|01/19||@ West Branch|
|01/26||DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH|